Three Pennsylvania Wrestlers Win Super 32 Belts, 16 Medal

GREENSBORO, N.C. – None of the three Pennsylvania wrestlers who left the Super 32 high school tournament with a championship belt on Sunday was seen as a sure thing heading into the event.

Far from it, actually.

Saegertown’s Cody Mulligan was the safest bet as the second seed, but Ryan Crookham was supposed to be too young and Ryan Anderson was supposed to be too heavy.

None of that mattered on Sunday as all three captured titles while some of their higher-seeded Pennsylvania brethren fell short. In all, 16 Keystone State wrestlers finished in the top eight of their respective wrestlers.

Anderson might have been the biggest surprise. Even he didn’t see it coming.

“I didn’t even think I was going to place,” the Bethlehem Catholic junior said after capturing the 138-pound talent.

His talent has never been a question – he finished seventh at 120 in last year’s Super 32 and third in PIAA Class AAA behind Austin DeSanto and Spencer Lee – but after bumping up two weights from his original Super 32 registration.

“That was during the summer, kind of,” he said of why he signed up for 126. “After I got done winning Journeyman, I decided I’m not going to make ’26, so I went up to ’32. Due to some things, I went up to ’38. I didn’t feel like cutting it. I guess it was a good idea.”

It certainly was. He beat California’s Jaden Abas – one of four nationally ranked 138-pounders in the bracket – 3-2 in the finals. Anderson chose the bottom position in the ultimate tiebreaker even though his coaches wanted him to take top.

“The first thing that came to my mind is Jack Cuvo used to teach me. He said, ‘No one can hold you down.’ I guess he was right,” Anderson said.

While no one could hold down Anderson, almost no one could escape Crookham. He became the first eighth-grader to win the prestigious high school tournament, in large part because of how tough he was on top. In seven matches, Crookham, who is from Saucon Valley, only allowed three points. That was a sign of how dominant he was on top.

“I’m always trying to get a tilt, I’m always throwing a tight waist,” he said. “You can win a match just by riding someone and getting out. If push comes to shove an I don’t get a takedown, I’m in pretty good shape because I can ride most people.”

That’s what he did in the finals. He rode Wisconsin state champion Eric Barnett in the second period, then scored a reversal with 15 seconds remaining in the third to win it.

Crookham, who was the Outstanding Wrestler in the Super 32 middle school tournament a year ago, put himself in rare company with his victory over No. 10 Greg Diakomihalis of New York. He joined Lee as the only other eighth-grader to reach the finals, but Lee lost to New Jersey’s Nick Suriano in the finals before winning a rematch a year later.

New York junior Adam Busiello, who won his third title on Sunday, and the Penn State commit could become the first wrestler to win four Super 32 high school titles.

Crookham said he’s looking to go one better.

“They made that red belt,” Crookham said of the prize for a four-timer. “That’s kind of one of my goals now. That’s another motivator. A lot of people didn’t think I could win this year. That just motivated me more. The transition from middle school motivated me.”

While the folkstyle season is just getting started, Crookham said he adjusts his timeline specifically for the Super 32.

“I’m used to it because this is my fourth time here,” he said. “I kind of know the routine. I have to start training for this tournament a little bit earlier each year. It’s in the preseason, but I start my season early for this tournament.”

And, while he has plenty left to accomplish at the junior high level, he’s main goals are in freestyle.

“World team trials – last year I took sixth,” he said.

Anderson and Crookham weren’t the only ones to find success in Greensboro. Mulligan and Josh Stillings, who he beat in the finals, were part of a very strong group of 182-pounders for Pennsylvania.

Wyoming Seminary’s Beau Bartlett finished second at 126 pounds, losing to Connecticut’s Jakob Camacho in the finals. Bartlett scored the opening takedown, but Camacho scored the next two on his way to the victory.

Bartlett, a National Prep champion, went 6-1 in the tournament and beat North Hills’ Sam Hillegas in the semifinals. Hillegas, who won a state title as a freshman in March, finished fourth. Hillegas went 6-2, including a 2-1 loss to New Hampshire’s Connor McGonagle in the placement bout.

Trent Hidlay came into the tournament ranked first nationally and was the top seed at 170 pounds, but he lost a pair of ultimate tiebreaker matches on Sunday to fall to fourth place in the tournament. He lost a physical 3-1 match to eventual champion Patrick Kennedy of Minnesota in the semifinals, then fell 2-1 to Ohio’s Emil Soehnlen in the consolation final. Hidlay was called for stalling with one second remaining in the ultimate tiebreaker.

Julian Chlebove’s decision to bump up in weight didnt’ turn out as well as Anderson’s. The two-time state champion finished fifth at 132 pounds. He was beaten 5-1 by Jesse Vasquez of California in the quarterfinals, then dropped a 3-2 decision to New Jersey’s Quinn Kinner in the consolation semifinals. Chlebove did finish strong, however, beating Missouri’s Joshua Saunders 3-0 in the placement match.

JoJo Aragona, who is from Pennsylvania but attends high school in New Jersey, finished sixth. He went 6-3, including a victory over Pequea Valley’s Gabe Miller. Aragona lost 4-3 to Ohio’s Mitch Moore and 5-4 to Virginia’s Marshall Keller before forfeiting the fifth-place match to Michigan’s James Whitaker.

Ryan Vulakh, who placed fifth in Greensboro a year earlier, took seventh at 138 pounds on Sunday. After winning his first four matches, he dropped a 5-1 decision to Virginia’s Marshall Keller. He sandwiched 5-2 victories over Ohio’s J.D. Stickley and Wisconsin’s Jeremy Schoenherr around a 4-2, ultimate tiebreaker loss to Michigan’s James Whitaker.

Big Spring’s Blake Barrick finished seventh at 195 pounds after going 4-2, including a medical forfeit victory over Delaware’s Tony Wuest in the placement match.

Michael Wolfgram of Central York beat South Side’s Bishop McCoy 8-2 in an all-Pennsylvania match for seventh place at 285 pounds. Wolfgram, who went 5-2 in Greensboro, scored four takedowns in his final match. McCoy won four of his first five matches before dropping his final two.

Wyoming Seminary’s Darrien Roberts finished eighth at 182 pounds. He went 3-3 in the tournament, including a victory over Fort LeBoeuf’s Julian Gorring. Roberts dropped an 11-7 decision to Ohio’s Ashton Eyler in the seventh-place bout.

Shippensburg’s Cole Forrester went 4-3 to place eighth at 220 pounds. Two of those losses came to Daniel Conley of Missouri, including a 5-0 setback in the seventh-place match.

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